There are many ways a game can allow players to unlock content, and according to TGR's Lawrence Sonntag, Patapon 2 chooses a method of unnecessary obscurity.
Interesting take on unlocking game content. I disagree with it completely, but it still makes sense from this sort of perspective.
I think both sides of the issue have merit. I don't particularly care for the God of War style upgrades, but I loved Patapon. You might say that Patapon was the Master of Unlocking.
Viewtiful - Barry Burton is the man and what he says is truth! As for the article, well written and justified. We do see countless games that require you to push on and reach a milestone, even in a subtle way. Left 4 Dead sticks out as a shining example. I'm at about 27k zombie kills and the required number is, what? 54,595 or so? But, the problem is that when I reach that, I'll play the game much, much less. So it's something that developers need to approach with caution. I've not played Patapon, but there are a lot of players out there who like that sort of unlocking. And, sometimes, I do too. So it's all horses for courses at the end of the day!
As the author said, I think a combination of the two mentioned ideas is the best bet. Direct unlocks (in-game stores for virtual points) is too direct, but hiding the ways to unlock things defeats the purpose. A progressive system thats rewards your time spent witht he game without overloading you with semi-useless items (concept art) would be swell.
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